January,5,2016: Former Chief Justice of India, Sarosh Homi Kapadia, known for his no-nonsense approach toward corruption, passed away during the intervening night of Monday and Tuesday owing to cardiac arrest.
He was 68 years old. Justice Kapadia is survived by his wife Shernaaz; son, who is a Chartered Accountant; and daughter.
His funeral was held as per Parsi tradition on Monday evening at the ‘Tower of Silence’ at Kemps Corner, south Mumbai. Judges, lawyers and staff of the high court attended his last rites.
Born in 1947 in Mumbai (then Bombay), Justice Kapadia graduated from the city-based Government Law College, the oldest law institute in Asia. Justice Kapadia started his career as a Class IV employee. He later joined Gagrat & Co, a law firm, as a clerk and went on to work with Feroze Damania, a “firebrand” labour lawyer.
Justice Kapadia was appointed as an additional judge of the Bombay high court on October 8, 1991, and as a permanent judge on March 23, 1993. On August 5, 2003, he became the Chief Justice of Uttarakhand high court. On December 18, 2003, he was appointed a judge of the Supreme Court. In May 12, 2010, he was sworn in as the 38th Chief Justice of India and served at the top post till retirement on September 29, 2012.
The judgment, Justice Kapadia will perhaps be most remembered for is the one in Vodafone International Holdings v/s Union of India, where he held that Indian tax authorities did not have territorial jurisdiction to tax offshore transactions.
Notable among the judgments he delivered were quashing of appointment of Chief Vigilance Commissioner P.J. Thomas in 2011 and the dissenting judgment in Lalu Prasad Yadav’s bail cancellation case.
During his tenure as CJI, he was Chairman of General Council of the Gujarat National Law University and Visitor of the National Law School of India University.